Switching from engineering physics to physics

In summary, the individual is a student in engineering physics considering switching to physics. They have also considered switching to business school but were not impressed with the courses. They are wondering about their options after completing their major in physics, such as pursuing an MBA or a master's degree. They are unsure if a major in physics would be appealing to employers in the industry and are considering alternative paths such as becoming a part of the management team for a research or engineering company. However, they are also concerned about being stuck in a research career if they continue on to a PhD. They may consider switching to physics if they are sure they want to go to graduate school for physics and should research the entrance requirements for specific programs they are interested in.
  • #1
bass_cannon
6
0
Hello,

I am a student currently in engineering physics considering moving to physics. I'm wondering if it's a bad move from me or not since we know it usually goes the other way around, with physics students switching to an engineering program.

This semester I actually wanted to move to business school but after the few courses I had (like marketing and what not), I didn't like the general impression that business school gave me and I felt like it was not worth it. I still have the problem that I lost interest in engineering (physics engineering in particular) so I thought that the best thing I could do for the moment is to finish my major in Physics (I'm pretty far in it already since engineering physics and physics share the same classes over here) to reach a certain ''checkpoint'' where I could choose where to go next.

I was then wondering: what are the options for me once I get my major? Is it possible to go for an MBA with only a major in Physics? For instance here at my university the business school offers a sort of MBA (or master's degree) called ''financial engineering'', which is basically engineering-oriented finance. So, can a major in Physics + MBA in this program prove interesting to a future employer? Or any MBA at all?

My second plan if I don't feel like going to business school again would be to go for a master's degree, so I was wondering: is a master's degree in Physics still valuable nowadays in the industry? Does the industry recruit physicists anymore or is my only option if I go for master's degree will be to work as a researcher in university for instance?

Thanks, and sorry for my not so good english. :)
 
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  • #2
You seem to be going all over the place.

What exactly do you intend to do here? What type of jobs were you aiming for?

Zz.
 
  • #3
Sorry if it's not clear.

Basically, I'm wondering if it's possible to work in the domain of physics or engineering without being exactly a researcher or scientist, like, be part of the management team (financial services for instance) for a research company or engineering firm. I'm just not sure if you really need a master's degree in physics to do such a job or if a major in physics + business-oriented master's degree is appealing at all for such employers.

Being in engineering before, I always thought that a major in physics forces to go for a master's degree afterwards and a Ph.D if you want, and then you are stuck doing research for the rest of your career. I would simply like to end the major in physics since it's actually a very fun experience, but just not go any further that a major (since I'm not sure I would really like doing research).
 
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  • #4
There is nothing stopping you from quitting science at the BS level and then getting an MBA. But I don't think that physics BS would do anything for your business career. Like you say though, its a fun experience.

As for a master's degree, one generally doesn't go for a masters in physics. You either get one along the way to a PhD or you get a masters in something else. There are some applied physics masters that specifically train you to be a technician in industry. Doing research in a university requires more than a masters and it usually requires more than just a PhD.
 
  • #5
I can't imagine that a degree in physics would be all that different from a degree in engineering physics. A few of the courses may be different, but when I went through undergrad I had a lot of classes with the engineering physics folks. The major advantage that engineering has is that it's a professional degree and therefore markets itself a lot more easily than a physics degree. I would only consider moving to physics if you're reasonably sure that you want to go to graduate school for physics.

For specific programs such as this master's degree in financial engineering, you realyl just half to look up the entrance requirements.

MBA programs are quite diverse. Generally speaking you can get in without any business background. Some are even tailored to people coming in from the sciences. Others are highly competative and will require a certain combination of prerequisit courses and actual business experience. Again, your best bet is just to browse the entrance requirements for the specific programs that interest you.
 

What is the main difference between engineering physics and physics?

The main difference between engineering physics and physics is that engineering physics is a combination of both engineering and physics principles, while physics focuses solely on the study of fundamental laws and principles of nature. In engineering physics, the emphasis is on applying these principles to solve problems and create practical solutions.

What career options are available for someone with a degree in engineering physics or physics?

Career options for someone with a degree in engineering physics or physics include research and development, consulting, teaching, and working in industries such as aerospace, energy, and technology. Graduates with a degree in engineering physics may also have more opportunities for engineering-related jobs, while physics graduates may have a wider range of job opportunities in fields such as academia, government, and healthcare.

Can someone with a degree in engineering physics switch to a career in physics?

Yes, someone with a degree in engineering physics can switch to a career in physics. While there may be some differences in the coursework and focus of the two degrees, both degrees provide a strong foundation in mathematics, scientific principles, and problem-solving skills, which are essential for a career in physics. Additionally, many skills learned in engineering physics, such as experimental design and data analysis, are also applicable to physics research.

What additional courses or training may be needed for someone switching from engineering physics to physics?

The additional courses or training needed for someone switching from engineering physics to physics may vary depending on the specific courses taken in their engineering physics degree. Some courses that may be beneficial for making the switch include advanced mathematics, such as differential equations and vector calculus, as well as courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.

What skills or qualities are important for success in a career in physics?

Some important skills and qualities for success in a career in physics include strong analytical and problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and attention to detail. Good communication and teamwork skills are also important, as physics research often involves collaborating with others. Additionally, a passion for learning and curiosity about the natural world are essential for a successful career in physics.

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